Geospatial Analysis of Ogeechee River Valley Settlement Patterns

Author(s): Katherine Jones

Year: 2016


The Ogeechee River valley lies between the Oconee and Savannah River valleys in central Georgia. It is a slow moving blackwater river, unlike the faster-flowing Oconee and Savannah Rivers. More than 7,000 sites have been recorded in the Ogeechee basin, compared to 20,200 sites within the Savannah drainage and 9,800 sites within the Oconee drainage. Using existing site data ranging from the Paleoindian through Historic periods, I test whether the number of sites recorded for each basin is indicative of past settlement behaviors or disparities in survey coverage. This analysis systematically evaluates how currently known settlement patterns relate to physiographic and geomorphic conditions within the Ogeechee basin. I compare results with analogous data from the Savannah and Oconee basins, and show that Ogeechee basin occupational history may not mirror either adjacent basin. I argue that long-term settlement pattern changes on the Ogeechee deviate from the Savannah and Oconee due to the formation and reformation of social territories and subsistence systems associated with settlement along a blackwater swamp compared to faster-flowing river systems to the east and west.

Cite this Record

Geospatial Analysis of Ogeechee River Valley Settlement Patterns. Katherine Jones. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405108)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;